The online world is packed with companies trying to get attention.

close up of a microphoneStanding out from the crowd can be a real challenge. But local businesses have got one big advantage: Location.

Local businesses are, by definition, close to their customers. Google recognizes this and uses its Local Pack listings to showcase businesses that are convenient to the searcher’s location.

But that’s only the start.

If you’re looking to propel your business upwards in search engine rankings, then online reputation management can be a powerful ally. Let’s explore what it is, and how it can help your business shoot for the stars.


What is Online Reputation Management?

Online reputation management (ORM) is all about creating and maintaining a positive perception of your business.

It can involve several different approaches, like monitoring your brand mentions across various online platforms or actively engaging with the public on social media – but the main focus rests on customer reviews.

While reviews can seem like a short-term concern, they add up to give potential customers an important snapshot of your business. And there are ways you can leverage reviews to build your brand’s reputation.


Respond to Reviews in a Timely Manner

A nice big collection of positive reviews is a great way to improve your online rankings. But receiving reviews is only half the battle – the other half is your reaction to those reviews. To be most effective, you’ll want to respond promptly. Here at Smart Link Solutions, our motto is, “We respond to every review: the good ones, the bad ones, and the indifferent ones.”

When you waste no time responding to reviews (both good and bad) you’re showing the public just how committed you are to customer satisfaction. You’re letting people know their opinions matter – and that you’re listening.

Building up a customer-centric approach is a great way to showcase your willingness to go above and beyond for your clients. This, in turn, can lead to increased customer loyalty, word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately, sustainable business growth. That’s what reputation management is all about.


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Make Bad Reviews Work for You

Getting a bad review doesn’t feel good, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t helping your business. In fact, bad reviews can actually boost sales.

Why? Well, most folks understand that no one is perfect, and things can go wrong. That’s probably why a “perfect” 5.0 average strikes many potential customers as just too good to be true, and maybe even an indicator that the company is hiding bad reviews.

Not only that, but bad reviews can also help you refine your business’s operations. In our experience, if you get a number of bad reviews, that’s an indication that something or someone’s gone wrong. In this way, bad reviews can serve as a kind of secret shopper sounding board. By embracing negative comments as constructive/actionable notes, you can improve your procedures against any recurring issues that might come up. That allows you to provide better service to happier customers.


Don’t Neglect Your Reviews

One thing you don’t want to do is ignore reviews. After all, a whopping 93% of consumers say that reading online reviews has a big impact on where they choose to shop. If you’re not actively managing your online reputation, you risk missing out on a big number of potential customers.

Not only that, but unresolved grievances from dissatisfied customers can gain a lot of bad attention if you’re not available to respond, potentially damaging your reputation.


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Building Trust

For better or worse, customers now rely heavily on a local business’s online reputation when making purchasing decisions. With online reputation management, you can shape the narrative around your brand, address customer concerns, and showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Smart Link Solutions offers comprehensive reputation management services that go beyond just monitoring negative online reviews – we go the extra mile by assisting in crafting responses and promptly flagging any content that violates review guidelines to Google. For as little as $500 a year, we’ll respond to all of your Google reviews!

If you’re searching for highly effective online marketing solutions, backed by a dedicated team of friendly professionals, your answer lies with Smart Link Solutions. We’re committed to boosting your business to new heights of success.

Get in touch today to explore all the ways we can help your business achieve its full potential!